Chadians approve constitutional referendum

‘Yes’ camp wins 86% while ‘no’ camp gets 14%, according to national electoral body

Chadians approved a constitutional referendum that would pave the way for elections to revert to civilian rule, according to results announced Sunday by the national electoral body.

The “yes” camp won 86% while the “no” camp got 14%, the electoral body said.

Voter turnout was 63.75% of the 8 million eligible voters.

The Dec. 17 poll was held to decide on whether Chad should adopt a new constitution.

The results are to be validated by the country’s Supreme Court within four days.

The “yes” camp advocated for a new constitution that would bring a “unitary and decentralized state” in order to preserve the country’s unity.

Those opposed wanted federalism on claims that a central government failed to develop Chad.

But the government of Mahamat Deby Itno, Chad’s military leader and the nation’s transition president, argued that federalism would encourage separatism tendencies and fuel ethnic divisions.

Deby took leadership of Chad in 2021 following the death of his father, Idriss Deby Itno, who died on the frontline of a war against rebels after ruling for 30 years.

The younger Deby had pledged to hand over power to an elected government after 18 months — a deadline that was not achieved, before postponing elections to 2024.

The referendum was recommended by a national dialogue held from April to October 2022 to settle the debate on which form the state should take between a federal or central system.


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